Breathtaking Arrogance


Update: The News-Miner reports that the Miller campaign blames a staffer for these tweets. What staffer would presume to use a first person pronoun in writing tweets? WC suggests it is far more likely that Miller has thrown another one of his staffers under the bus. The News-Miner also reports the tweets were deleted as…

Ambrose Bierce Weighs In


A comment by Notellin reminded WC of a couple of Ambrose Bierce stories that are on point: His Fly-Speck Majesty A Distinguished Advocate of Republican Institutions was seen pickling his shins in the ocean. “Why don’t you come out on dry land?” said the Spectator. “What are you in there for?” “Sir,” replied the Distinguished…

Simple Solutions


There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong. – H. L. Mencken, New York Evening Mail, November 16, 1917, and reprinted in Prejudices: Second Series (1920). WC calls this “Mencken’s Law.” Nothing has changed in the 93 years since Mencken made his point. And we get reminded of it in each and…

Freddie the Freeloader


Some nice investigative work by the Anchorage Daily News has revealed that Joe Miller, in his first year in Alaska, managed to buy an expensive home in South Anchorage, land a posh $70,000/year job at Condon Partnow & Sharrock, and yet still qualify for a resident low-income hunting and fishing license that required a family…

A Nod to Manuel Noriega


WC is a birder, and deals with the long Interior Alaska winters by leaving them for a few weeks each year, looking for new species of birds, bright sunlight, liquid water and the color green. It’s amazing how much easier it is to tolerate that long, slow climb back to spring if you’ve spent a…

Own a Piece of the Pipe: A Cautionary Tale


Ethan Berkowitz’s campaign platform includes his “own a piece of the pipe” plan. If elected, Berkowitz would press for the Alaska Legislature to create a corporation – it’s exact role regarding the gas line isn’t well defined – in which Alaskans could buy stock using their Alaska Permanent Fund Dividends. There are even fancy stock…

Convicted Felon Gets Huge Brass Plaque


Monday night the New York Yankees revealed a gigantic brass plaque honoring the late convicted felon and Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. WC is not a Yankees fan. WC is emphatically not a fan of King George. But a half-ton brass plaque, measuring seven feet wide by five feet tall? Babe Ruth’s plaque is a mere…

Miller’s Hypocrisy: Another Example


Some nice investigative work by the Alaska Dispatch has revealed that Candidate Miller’s strict Constitutional constructionalism, if it exists at all,  is a recent development. Until 1998, Miller was an absentee owner of farmlands in Kansas, for which he cheerfully accepted some $7,000 in federal farm subsidies. WC doesn’t see federal farm subsidies as an…

Picking on Nonprofits


Everyone from the New York Times to Rush Limbaugh seems to be picking on nonprofits. The Times suggests that nonprofit managers are getting paid too much. Limbaugh called nonprofits “lazy idiots” and “rapists in terms of finance and economy.” Limbaugh, and the Republican senators the Times quotes, can be dismissed as posturing windbags. Limbaugh is selling…

Favorite Web Comics: Dilbert


Yes, Dilbert is a web comic as well as a newspaper comic, and is available for free each day  on-line. And, yes, Dilbert today isn’t quite as good as it as in its hey-day, 10-15 years ago. Scott Adams must not be getting the consistently outrageous reports from his readers, which inspired much of his…

Excellent Paul Krugman Article


Paul Krugman’s opinion piece today in the New York Times is terrific. He’s found a topical metaphor – a mobster’s extortion racket – the is a perfect explanation of Republican tactics. From the opening line – “Nice middle class you got here,” said Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader. “It would be a shame if…

Landmarks: 250 Posts!


This is WC’s 250th post to his eponymous blog. It’s just another number, but WC will use to occasion for some notes and comments on blogging, on the kind folks who read WC and this blog specifically. WC has seen a significant traffic spike in the last few months. Blog posts involving Joe Miller and…

Miller’s Waffling and Flopping


Candidate Miller has waffled and flopped on his position on federal spending in Alaska. Before, he opposed all spending, and in fact signed a pledge against earmarks. Over the weekend, he “Set the Record Straight” (Miller-speak for waffled) and said: Given our current deficits, we, as a nation, will clearly have to curb overall federal…

Interior Autumn


Sure it’s political season, and yes, the politics are important, but WC doesn’t live in Alaska for its politics. WC lives in Alaska because it is the most beautiful and unspoiled place in the United States. And autumn is both beautiful and important. The beauty speaks for itself. But it’s important because it is the…

Alaska: Maybe More than 5%


Gail Collins has a terrific column in the New York Times in which she argues that the fundamentalist minister in Gainesville who plans to burn copies of the Qur’an is further evidence that 5% of Americans are nuts: When this sort of thing happens, it is important to remember that about 5 percent of our…

Questions for Candidate Miller


Update: The News-Miner now reports that Miller “Miller decided to leave the Army when an early release program was offered in 1991.” So question #1 is answered. Offered the opportunity, Miller didn’t hesitate to leave the U.S. Army early, after it had given him his free education. We’ll have to update JFK’s famous statement: “Ask…

Cubs’ Attendance Down (Duh)


Cubs’ baseball game attendance is down significantly. Al Yellon at Bleed Cubbie Blue reports that the number of games that were not sold out has spiked: 2004: 1 2005: 1 2006: 14 2007: 6 2008: 0 2009: 9 2010: 27 A three-fold increase in games that didn’t sell out (with about 20 games left) has…